£19 million bid to level up Evesham

Wychavon has made an ambitious £19 million bid to help kick-start the transformation of Evesham Town Centre.

The application to the Levelling Up Fund is part of a wider £95 million overhaul of the Riverside Shopping Centre and the town's main shopping area.

Chase Commercial Ltd, acting on behalf of the centre's owner PJK Ltd, has been working closely with Wychavon to develop a master plan for the site. It includes the potential for 213 new residential apartments, a theatre and cinema complex, a hotel, restaurants, cafes, bars and independent retail outlets.

The ambition is to open up the heart of the town centre to make the most of views over Abbey Park and the River Avon. The proposal will also reconnect the main shopping area with Evesham's heritage assets like the Bell Tower, the churches of All Saints and St Laurence's and Abbey grounds and the Almonry Museum.

As part of the project, Wychavon has already pledged £3.9 million to refurbish Evesham Public Hall to create a new events venue and home for Evesham Arts Association.

The application is part of Wychavon's efforts to bring to life the vision set out in its Evesham Town Centre Investment Prospectus.

Evesham's MP Nigel Huddleston, Evesham Town Council, Evesham Civic Society and the Vale of Evesham Commerce and Tourism Association (VECTA) are among the many organisations backing the bid.

Wychavon has been ranked a priority two area by the Government, with priority one being the highest. This will influence how the application is assessed. With hundreds of councils bidding for money from the fund, competition is expected to be fierce.

Cllr Bradley Thomas, Leader of Wychavon District Council, said: "We know we're in a tough fight to secure this money but this represents a major opportunity to transform the heart of Evesham Town Centre and one we weren't going to turn down.

"Our bid is exactly what levelling up is – creating opportunities for lasting transformational change – and it has wide support from the community of Evesham. I hope the Government will take that into consideration when assessing our bid."

Wychavon will hear sometime in the autumn if the application has been successful.

Visit www.wychavon.gov.uk/town-centres for more information on Wychavon's vision for the future of the district's town centres.

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